Tough day at Robertson Oval with only one senior side coming away victorious against the Wagga Tigers. The end of the preliminary rounds is in sight.
Next Game: Round 18 v Leeton-Whitton Crows on Saturday 24 August at the Kindra Koliseum. Our final home game of the year!
Our preparation was very good. Our respect for Tigers and how they play was very high. But nothing prepared us the white-hot firestorm that Tigers dished up to us in the first half last weekend. They even admitted they hadn’t played that well in…. seasons. At quarter time we trailed by five goals, at half time by seven and had the Tigers not clipped the post several times, it would’ve been worse. It’s not like the Hoppers played bad. It’s just that we were destroyed by momentum that refused to let us in the game. After the long break we started again, and down by 41 points we worked our way back into the contest to trail by 20 eight minutes into the final term. A turnover inside our 50 and their resulting goal after a chain of passing, pushed the margin to 26 and while we continued to trade goals, their goal on the siren capped off a 36 point win. The Hoppers learnt plenty from the game and will head into next week knowing that final styles footy has already started.
Jerry Maslin played his heart out for the Hoppers in his first clash with a stack of old mates since leaving the Tigers four plus years ago. If he wasn’t bustling for overhead marks, he was massive with his voice and encouragement of team mates, or nailing one of his five goals. Josh Buchanan had a stack of traffic coming at him down back but refused to lay down, forcing his opponent into error so often that Tigers just starting kicking it wherever Josh wasn’t. Meanwhile, Nick Pleming continued his efforts in and under at every contest, often the last bloke off the ground when the umpires finally pulled up contested ground ball situations.
Other notables included Joe Redfern who made the most of his limited opportunities to land four goals; younger brother Luke who ran himself to a standstill between the arcs; and Will Graetz, who despite battling with the pace early, worked himself into the contest fiercely and battled forcibly for four quarters.
Hoppers 11-4-70 defeated by Wagga Tigers 15-16-106
Goal kickers: J. Maslin 5, J. Redfern 4, A. Atkin, M. McGowan
Notable Mentions: J. Maslin, J. Buchanan, N. Pleming, L. Redfern, J. Redfern, W. Graetz
Award Winners: Jerry Maslin (Commercial Club), Josh Buchanan & Nick Pleming (Bottom Pub)
How long is a week in footy?! We were optimistic the Magoos could turn their recent sleepy form around, but no one could’ve predicted the blowout against the Tigers on their home deck. The 97 point win gave the Hoppers a massive percentage boost to the extent that if they get a win over Leeton and if Gullie knock over Mango, the green men are into the final three come finals.
Lachie Pleming was a tear away for the Hoppers, flying up and down the ground all day and providing a stack of inside 50 opportunities for his mates, as well as snagging a shifty goal. Ben Edyvean was a monolith through the middle, the clock tower giving team mates first use more often than not and reminding selectors of the options he provides for finals. Meanwhile Ryan Maslin continued his great season with another typical, gritty, hard-nosed effort, Mazzo being the type of player his mates just love to run out with every week.
Hoppers 16-11-107 defeated Wagga Tigers 1-4-10
Goal Kickers: S. Robinson 4, R. Maslin 3, T. Besgrove 2, B. Baker 2, W. Alchin, J. Mason, T. Garrett, B. Edyvean, L. Pleming
Notable Mentions: B. Edyvean, T. Besgrove, W. Alchin, J. McPherson, L. Pleming, R. Maslin
Award Winners: Lachie Pleming (Commercial Club), Ben Edyvean & Ryan Maslin (Bottom Pub)
After some tricky form the thirds turned in one of their better performances this season and despite going down to the ladder leading Tigers, can hold their heads up high. Playing against a side that has been the standout side in the comp each week, the young Hoppers went down by 16 in a game where they were always in the hunt
For the Hoppers, Jake Fifield reminded his team mates of what he can do when his head is on, foiling plenty of Tigers forward efforts and being a right royal pest all day. Dicko’s ability to read the play is getting better and better every week and if he can have a huge pre-season next year, anything is possible. Damo Wells put up his best performance for the season and was another to show where he can take his footy if he brings some belief into his game, his physical intimidation around the footy a highlight. Will McGowan, meanwhile, has started to bring consistency into his powerful play and while ever he speaks with his actions, the Hoppers are going to be very well served by young Gowza.
Hoppers 4-7-31 defeated by Wagga Tigers 7-5-47
Goal Kickers: D. Wells 2, M. Stibbard, J. Manley
Notable Mentions: R. Fifield, D. Wells, W. McGowan, B. Leary, M. Stibbard, S. Neale
Award Winners: Jake Fifield, Damien Wells, Will McGowan
Disappointing day for the girls in green, but another awesome effort.
A Grade - Score: Tigers 42 def Coolamon 38
Such an intensive physical and tight game from the start. Hoppers showed they were up for the challenge right from the first centre pass by pushing their lead out by 4 goals which put the pressure back on the opposition. Every player stepped up and was accountable which contributed to the Hoppers challenging the opposition right to the very end. A terrific effort girls - well done.
Gemma Walker - there is no doubting the commitment she shows when she takes the court. Controlling the centre court with determination and creating some instrumental plays which assisted in giving Hoppers the opportunity to increase their score.
Lilly Buchanan - worked hard all game and created options out of the circle when Hoppers were in attack. Great body position in the circle held out the opposition who were unable to get the turnover and finished it off with some spectacular shooting.
A Reserve - Score: Tigers 44 def Coolamon 22
A super effort by all the team to really push the opposition to the end. Your efforts and persistence in the game was terrific. Well done to all players.
Chloe McKelvie - carved up in the centre court with her persistence to win the ball and terrific feeding into the circle which certainly assisted in setting up Hopper's shooters to add to their score.
Bronwyn Maslin - her tight positioning on her opponents restricted many opportunities for them to score. Displayed sensational defensive play and her determination was outstanding.
B Grade - Score: Tigers 52 def Coolamon 28
Watching this game it was clear that the score did not reflect the intensity of the game. It was a great game that showed a very competitive Hopper team of players who were not giving up. Great effort by all players.
Anna Hunt - had her sights in with sensational shooting against a strong defence. Moved around the circle with determination and purpose which had the defence unsure of her next move.
Kaarin Besgrove - worked hard to be an option in attack to assist in moving the ball down Hoppers end and displayed instrumental plays in defence causing the opposition to rethink their options.
C Grade - Score: Tigers 35 def Coolamon 25
Another tough game with Hoppers staying with the opposition for most of the game, however the win just getting away from them in the end. Well done to all players.
Abbey Irvin - sensational shooting kept Hoppers in the game. Moves in and around the circle and her opponent with ease and attacks with tenacity.
Flynn Buttifant - takes the opposition on like she is Hulk - destructive, destroys and then delivers. Unlike Hulk when it comes to size but clearly this is no obstacle for this whippet sized player.
U17s - Score: Tigers 26 def Coolamon 23
A terrific 4th quarter comeback edged the girls closer however Tigers just had that small margin that kept the win from the U17s. Great effort by all players.
Zoe Cartwright - destructive in defence with the height advantage. Getting better every week and proving that she has what it takes when the game is tough and tight.
Ruby Vonarx - always a reliable and relentless player who means business when she takes the court. Gives her all right to the final whistle.